New bin collections set to save thousands

Changes to bin collections
Changes to bin collections

East Dunbartonshire Council chiefs say they will save nearly £200,000 each year due to the recent changes in refuse collections.

The figure was revealed after a Bearsden resident demanded to know how the council would save money by changing the collections to seven days a week.

Previously refuse was only collected over five days (Monday to Friday) but now they have operatives working on Saturdays and Sundays.

Ricky Clarkson of Castlehill, Bearsden, said: “Surely this would increase the wage bill if there is an unsociable hours element in the pay structure?”

But Grace Irvine, director of East Dunbartonshire Council’s neighbourhood services, says the new shifts do not involve overtime and saves them around £178,000 each year.

But it’s not all positive, with people complaining that their bins have not been collected on the right day.

Some residents on opposite sides of the same street get their bins collected on different days now.

Residents are also angry that they have been woken by the noise of the lorries early on Saturday and Sunday mornings - their only days to relax and enjoy a lie-in.

Grace Irvine said: “The new refuse collection will take time to time bed in.

“There have been minor alterations to routes but nothing that changes the details on the calendars we issued to residents.

“Broadly speaking the new service is going well but there have been some glitches which we are working to resolve.

“I’d like to thank local people for their patience and ask for their continued co-operation.

“While the emptying of bins does have an inherent noise to it, the Environmental Health Service has been consulted and would not consider the noise from routine bin collections to be a nuisance, under legislation.

“The new service works as part of an alternating shift pattern with longer days incorporating weekends. Employees continue to work a 37 hour week, but working shifts of seven days in fourteen instead of ten days in fourteen.

“There is no additional overtime or unsociable hours payments made.

“Savings will be made from the reduction in refuse collection vehicles and we can now operate with one third of the fleet previously used under the old service.”